Meatless Monday: Green Eggs, No Ham – Recipe for Eggs in a Basket with a Budget-Friendly Spinach Pesto Sauce
Will you eat them on St Pat’s? Will you eat them wearing hats?
I do so like them, Sam-I-Am, I do like green eggs with no ham!
– Modified from the Dr Seuss classic “Green Eggs and Ham”
The pesto takes this breakfast classic – Eggs in a Basket* – to a whole new level for Meatless Monday. It can turn your St Patrick’s Day breakfast into Top ‘O The Mornin’. And the basket shape of the bread makes this a perfect Easter basket breakfast or brunch!
I loved the spinach pesto created by Andrea Meyers of Andrea’s Recipes. She steamed the spinach before blending it – Genius, Andrea! This makes the pesto smoother and darker green. I used mostly spinach with just a few basil leaves to make this sauce more budget friendly. And I love a little lemon zest to brighten the taste! I blended the pesto in my blender for a smoother sauce, but you can use your food processor for a more traditional rustic texture. And, many times we advocate for a cheaper oil, but use the good stuff here because the fruity taste of extra virgin olive oil really comes through!
** FOR 50 QUIRKY NAMES FOR THIS TRADITIONAL EGG AND TOAST DISH, SEE THE END OF THIS POST!
EGGS IN A BASKET WITH BUDGET FRIENDLY SPINACH PESTO SAUCE
Cook and prep time about 30 minutes; serves six
8 large eggs, divided
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
6 slices day-old firm white bread
8 cups chopped spinach
A small handful of basil leaves
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup finely grated)
A few dashes Tabasco sauce
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spray a large cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. In a pie pan or other shallow pan, mix 2 of the eggs, milk, garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Dip each bread slice in egg mixture for about 10 seconds on each side. Place soaked bread slices in muffin tins, forming a “basket,” with corners of bread sticking up out of muffin tin slightly. Crack one egg into all 6 muffin tins. Bake for 15 minutes for eggs that will have slightly soft yolks, or bake longer as desired to make egg yolks firm.
Place spinach in a glass bowl or ceramic dish, cover with plastic wrap and then microwave for about 90 seconds, or until completely wilted. Remove 1 teaspoon zest from lemon and 2 tablespoons juice from lemon. Place juice and zest and all remaining ingredients in blender (for a smooth sauce) or food processor (for a more rustic sauce). Blend until smooth.
Serve egg baskets on a plate, drizzled with pesto sauce.
*Note about ‘Eggs in a Basket’: This dish is traditionally made by cutting a round hole out of a slice of bread, placing the slice in a skillet and cracking an egg into the center. I made a more ‘basket-y’ shape buy soaking the bread slices in a French toast custard mixture and then pressing them into muffin tins.
** Check out all the quirky names for this dish: One Eyed Jack. Eggy in a Basket. One Eyed Pirate. Gashouse Eggs. Egg in a Window. Egg in the Hole. Pirate’s Eye. Toad in the Hole. Adam and Eve on a Raft. Bird’s Nest. Bull’s Eye. Cave Entrance. Camel’s Eye. Eagle Eye. Egg-Holey-O. Egg Castorini. Egg in a Blanket. Egg in a Frame. Egg in a Hat and Coat. Egg in Bed. Egg in a Nest. Eggy Toast. Eye of the Beholder. Gaslight Eggs. Hobo Toast. Hobo Eggs. Nest Eggs. O’Johnnies. Submarine Egg. Victory Egg. Rocky Mountain Toast. Yolky Pokey. Hole in One. Man in a Boat. Baby in a Hole. Eggs in a Bonnet. Bird’s Nest Eggs. Knothole Eggs. Moon Over Miami (from the Betty Grable movie) Ox Eye Eggs. Chicky in a Nest. Navy Eggs. Breakfast Bulls Eyes. Egg in the Middle. Sunlets. Boy Scout Eggs. Kellogg Eggs.
Other food bloggers’ takes on this egg classic:
One Eyed Jack, aka Eggs in a Basket, For the Love of Cooking
Eggs in a Basket with Wonton Wrappers, Green Lemonade
Eggs in the Basket, A Series of Kitchen Experiments
Gashouse Eggs, Kitchen Parade
– posted by Donna